Wednesday, March 22, 2006

It's Topinka

Illinois Republican voters have given a plurality to State Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka, giving her the right to challenge Governor Rod Blagojevich in the November election.

Although I am more conservative than Topinka, her nomination is probably ideal for Illinois Republicans. She seems to be the Republican candidate best positioned to draw votes out of heavily-populated Cook County, particularly among those Democrats and Independents who supported Blagojevich in 2002 but are now disenchanted and seeking an alternative. Most importantly, she was able to hold off dairy magnate Jim Oberweis, a candidate whose values I share but whose candidacy would have been a train wreck of epic proportions for the Party. Oberweis would have provided far too much fodder for the Governor to use his millions of dollars in campaign funds to turn Oberweis into a caricature of himself. It would have been ugly, and ensured that Blagojevich would, barring indictment, serve a second term.

It will be critical in the coming months to convince backers of Oberweis, and to a lesser extent Brady, to throw their support behind Judy. She may not be their ideal candidate, as she is not mine, but politics needn't be an all or nothing proposition. While Judy may be more liberal on certain social issues, she will likely be a far more palatable option than Governor Blagojevich on issues relating to taxes, fees, spending, labor, pension funding and commerce. My fellow conservatives need to keep in mind that, even if Oberweis or Brady were to become Governor, a General Assembly controlled by Democrats wouldn't be inclined to take up sweeping conservative reforms anyway. We must walk before we can run. All significant levers of government in Illinois are controlled by the Democratic Party. The best option for conservatives to gain some influence in the near-term is to win the Governor's mansion back. We can build from there, but right now we have nothing.

The greatest gift conservatives can give Governor Blagojevich is to stay home on election day to "send a message." Personally, I say we take half a loaf and worry about the rest later.

1 Comments:

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Bill Baar said...

There is a conservative case that can be made for same sex marriage... it's not a right. It shouldn't be forced on the states by a court decision. But one can argue a conservative case for it.

It's the hyper sexuality displayed at things like the Gay Pride parades that is really of more concern I believe.

I heard Brady on WBBM a week or two before the elections. His positions on life were clear but he was realistic. He said he understood the GA wasn't going to hand him a bill as did SD's. The reality of a Brady vs Topinka administration given that reality isn't all that different.

But Topinka will create space for the first small steps with notification. This is significant and should not be overlooked.

A Republican Gov will just start turning the state a little less blue and pave the way for Brady for Senate maybe?

I'd sure hate to see the GOP blow this and sit out on JBT.

 

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